Puri: In a historic step towards further empowering the women under the Mission Shakti programme, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced interest free loan to the women self-help groups (SHGs).
Addressing the massive gathering of empowered women at Mission Shakti Convention in Puri today, Naveen announced zero interest loan upto Rs 3 lakh for women SHGs along with Rs 3,000 for smartphones he had promised during the Make in Odisha Conclave as part of the digital empowerment programme for women.
The loan facility will immensely benefit to more than 70 lakh women of six lakh SHGs under the Mission Shakti, the initiative started by the Chief Minister in 2001.
Naveen also announced that the State Government will provide Rs 15,000 Seed Money to every new woman SHG to start their venture, Rs 25,000 financial assistance fund to every block level Mahasangh and Rs 3,000 financial assistance to every SHG for digital empowerment so that they could own smart phones for online payment, marketing and going global.
The Chief Minister also awarded anganwadi workers and helpers with financial incentive of Rs 500 and Rs 200 respectively, for their contribution towards mobilizing and motivating rural women. He also transferred Rs 30,000 crore digitally to the bank accounts of 31,000 SHGs from the venue itself.
The silent revolution that Naveen started in 2001 has gradually transformed into a social movement with 70 lakh women, six lakh groups, Rs 5,000 crore savings and 2,000 crore annual bank exposure.
Mission Shakti is now a way of life for millions of women, shaping their thought, outlook, culture and economic life. There is no habitation in State without a Mission Shakti Group. Almost every second household has a member in it.
The programme has brought a paradigm shift in societal attitude towards women and recognized their entrepreneurial skills for improving various socio-economic indicators like IMR, MMR and female literacy. It has placed rural women in a better position to overcome the negative social pressures and gender biases operating against them and united them under group identity and activity.